Ava Stevenson is enjoying her best varsity season so far, and now she’s got more reason to be excited.
The Trinity girls basketball junior verbally committed to William & Mary a few days before Christmas, she said Sunday night, ending her two-year recruiting journey.
Stevenson said she had offers from Quinnipiac, Harford and Wofford as well and ultimately took the scholarship offer from the Tribe because she felt part of the team already.
“I was looking for a great academic and basketball program and a family oriented environment,” she said via Twitter direct message. “[It was] after visiting the school and many calls with the coaching staff that I felt that I was already part of the their ‘tribe.’”
She’ll join a Division I program experiencing a bit of a rebirth under head coach Ed Swanson, who led the Tribe to their first postseason appearance in the Women’s Basketball Invitational in 2014-15. William & Mary is still searching for its first WNIT or NCAA tournament appearance in 101 years as a program.
Swanson has led the team since 2013-14, going 89-93 with two winning seasons in the past three years. The Tribe are 10-3 to start this season.
“The coaching staff and team were a very genuine, nice group of people who really understood the idea of a student athlete,” Stevenson said. “They helped me learn more about the school, its history, and their basketball program. They show a lot of character on their team, and I’ve heard nothing but good remarks about the school and coaching staff.”
She said she committed now because it “was the right fit for me and the right time.”
Stevenson has successfully taken on increased scoring duties this season with Kassidy Ingram and Sunshine McCrae playing at the D-I level as well this year. Stevenson, an All-Sentinel Second Team pick last season, is averaging a team-leading 11.8 points per game and has 18 3-pointers and a 66.7% mark at the foul line.
Nearly all her numbers are better than last season, when the then-junior helped the Shamrocks win a second straight District 3 title and make the PIAA Class 3A semifinals. She averaged 7.6 points with 35 3s last season.
She said she got her first college offer in ninth grade.
“The process went really well,” Stevenson said. “It was definitely stressful when it first started, but after a while I became more comfortable with it and along with the help of my family, friends and coaches. I got my first offer in ninth grade, and things really picked up during my AAU seasons.”
She has the Shamrocks atop the Mid-Penn Capital Division at 4-0 (6-3 overall). They’re currently second in the District 3 Class 3A power rankings behind Delone Catholic, the same squad Trinity beat for last year’s district gold.